‘Night at the Museum’ is family-friendly fun

Tom Long
The Detroit News

It’s the rare film that features a Neanderthal making out with a British security guard, a monkey peeing on a river of lava and Sir Lancelot battling a skeletal Triceratops.

Then again, maybe it’s not so rare. Movies are getting more and more weird. At least in the case of “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb,” all the weirdness turns out to be fun.

There are some key elements that make this “Night at the Museum” sequel work better than its predecessor. For one, all the major characters go on a road trip to London and a different museum comes alive.

This movie also introduces two new scene-stealing characters, the above-mentioned saucy security guard, played by Rebel Wilson, and Sir Lancelot, played by Dan Stevens (“Downton Abbey,” “The Guest”). For good measure, star Ben Stiller plays a caveman doppelganger of his security guard character, Larry Daley.

Larry’s problem this time around is the magic tablet that brings all the denizens of his museum to life every night — it’s failing. To find out how to fix it, he needs to fly to England, where the father of Ahk (Rami Malek), the pharaoh who created the tablet, is on display. Somehow most of the franchise’s major characters — including Robin Williams as Teddy Roosevelt, Owen Wilson as cowboy Jedediah and Steve Coogan as Roman legionnaire Octavius — come along for the ride.

Wackiness, as they say, ensues. But throughout the film, Larry is worrying about his rebellious son Nick (Skyler Gisondo), fretting over his immediate family even as he tries to save his extended, magical family. It’s sweet and frankly sentimental subtext to a goofy movie just made for family viewing over the holidays.



‘Night at the

Museum: Secret

of the Tomb’


Rated PG for mild action, some rude humor and brief language

Running time: 97 minutes

“Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb” (PG) This goofy, family friendly sequel takes Larry (Ben Stiller) and his museum characters on a trip to London where they hope to save the magic that brings them to life at night. Wackiness ensues. (97 minutes) GRADE: B